An anesthesiologist ensures the safety of a patient during surgery. The put the patient to sleep by administering anesthesia to eliminate any distress or pain. They often use intravenous medications to keep patients calm, or regional anesthesia to numb a specific part of the body. This is administered with a shot. An anesthesiologist has a plan to ensure the patient is ready for surgery and places the safety of the patient first.
During the surgery, the anesthesiologist monitors the patient’s heart rhythm, blood pressure, level of consciousness, temperature and the oxygen level of the blood. Once the surgery has been completed, the anesthesiologist helps reduce pain. This may include the placement of local anesthetics near the nerves or intravenous medications for pain. An anesthesiologist additionally tends to patients in the recovery room and in critical care.
The technical definition of an anesthesiologist is a doctor who has achieved either a DO or an MD. They specialize in perioperative care for patients, developing a plan for anesthesia, and administering anesthesia. Anesthesiologists are often aided by a nurse or have their own assistant.
How Long Does It Take to Become an Anesthesiologist
A minimum of twelve years is required to become an anesthesiologist. This is a career requiring skill, training, and schooling. The life of the patient is in the hands of the anesthesiologist.
How to Become an Anesthesiologist
The first step towards a career as an anesthesiologist is a four-year bachelor’s degree. This is followed by an additional four years of graduate education to achieve either an M.D., or a degree in medicine or a D.O., or a doctor of osteopathy. Once the degree has been earned, four years as an anesthesia resident are required. Some residents choose to take an additional year of fellowship or study to specialize in a specific field. This includes pain medicine, critical care medicine, education, and research.
Once the medical schooling has been completed, an anesthesiologist must complete one year of internship followed by an additional three years as a resident. The United States programs for physician training require four years as a resident for an anesthesiologist to be board certified. This is usually one year of pediatric or surgical training or general medicine. Three more years of training in clinical anesthesiology under the supervision of anesthesiologists through medical school hospitals is also required.
Once the residency has been completed, the anesthesiologist must complete fellowship training for one year in a subspecialty including cardiac anesthesiology, pain management, obstetric anesthesiology, pediatric anesthesiology, critical care medicine or neuro-anesthesiology. Once the anesthesiology residency program has been completed, the resident becomes eligible to take the ABA or American Board of Anesthesiology examination.
Of all United States anesthesiologists, almost 75 percent have become board certified. This means all the oral and written examinations have been successfully passed. Every anesthesiologist must be licensed by their state to practice medicine. The ABA offers additional certification in both pain management and critical care. A large percentage of anesthesiologists have completed a fellowship in specific fields including pediatric anesthesia, chronic pain, regional anesthesia, cardiothoracic anesthesia, critical care medicine, and anesthesia research.
The Salary of an Anesthesiologist
Once an anesthesiologist has earned a high level of experience, they can earn an annual salary as high as $4500,000. In 2016, the average median salary was $187,199, with $258,100 being the average pay for the position.
The Jobs Available for an Anesthesiologist
Although an anesthesiologist works in a wide variety of settings, some are more common than others. Most work in the offices of private physicians, hospitals, outpatient surgical centers or clinics. Some anesthesiologists work in medical or academic institutions to teach students of anesthesiology.